We are into our second week back at work and school and home number 1.
When the realisation came that it is time to categories which place we are in at which time of the year!
The more I think about it the more I know that the amount of time we spend in each place determines its number of importance of time spent in it. So Doha would be in the number 1 spot, Cyprus 2nd and South Africa 3rd. I suppose that would mean that I would now need to call Doha my home?
Doha has brought with it a change in the focus of my life. I was brought up in a small mining town in the middle of South Africa, Welkom (meaning welcome in English). It is in the heart of the Free State in the middle of no where, with roundabouts and one traffic light.
It. Was. Small.
We would have family from all over South Africa around for Xmas holidays and spend the smoldering hot summer days lazing around the swimming pool or playing cricket or table tennis in the sprawling back garden. Else we were up country or down the coast with our family – Gran, Grandad, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings , pretty much doing the same thing. No one moved, homes were homes for years and years. Familiarity was walking down to the shops, greeting the shop owner who knew us by name, buy sweets and playing to our hearts content.
My life plan was similar, although early on it did not include a husband until 30 and there were no children, so I should have realised that plans could change along the route. I always imagined the double storey house, entertainment area with a huge table, family and friends gathered around, a sprawling garden and swimming pool with delighted screams resounding. We were on that road when life changed.
So home number 1 now is in the heart of the Middle East, friends are from different parts of the world, the garden is small, the swimming pool on the other side of the complex and the entertainment table in the dining area. There is laughter though that resounds from bedrooms, the living area and any other room where children can play and adults can chat. Missing is family and that long term, lets get retired in, family home.
Home number 2 is on the touristy coastal town of Paphos in Cyprus. This is where we spend the second largest amount of free time. We have lovely apartments and a wonderful old friend from South Africa who we spend time with. Her family has invited us into their wonderful fold and we feel like we are now part of special gatherings, life events and family life. It is heartwarming to have a family we can share incredible moments with. In August we spent days lazing on beaches, bobbing in blue sparkling seas while chatting about everything under the sun, sharing meals, having kiddy sleepovers and laughing just about life in general. The little girls wove a special bond together and the older girls gave indispensable advice to a little boy with an enquiring mind 🙂 We lazed around our second home, explored the surrounding area and found our spark again.
Home number 3 is home in South Africa, physically there is no actual place that we can say we reside in, but it is where the majority of our family and friends are. I miss this home and why I discovered that although Home Number 3 is now number 3, it is Number 1 in my heart. It holds everything that I hold dear, wonderful friends and most of all my family, where kids run in the sprawling gardens squealing with delight while they tackle their cousins, share sweets and memories. Where I share secrets with my sisters while sipping on our umpteenth glass of wine, where we laugh and cry together.
The moral is that at the end of the day, Steve and I may not have the house that we will grow old in. The one of my dreams. What we do have is our little family, and experiences that we are making every day. The new friends that we make along our path, the giggles of friends floating on lilo’s in blue ocean seas and the time we get to spend with those we love the most for short but intimate periods of time.
Do I think we are in the ideal place?
We are missing out on so many moments.
Would I change things?
We are making our own new moments.
Life is so short, this experience is so exciting, I have met wonderful people, travelled to extra-ordinary places and know there is more to come.
There are only so many more tomorrows, so to live for today and enjoy every moment doing it, is priceless.
This is an awesome read..and it gives me some insight into your life abboad. Dont know what you do in your work life
Thanks Lee, it has been such a long time since we last saw you guys …. I think it was when you had just gotten your Harleys and was Steve's last Two Oceans run!! The Boys were still newly in their teens…..Many years now!!I work on the Website Xpatulator.com – mainly mixing advertising links with expatriate websites, SEO, article writing and publishing into different eZine type websites, data collecting, website design and project management of said website design 🙂 never a dull moment on this side of the world.Are you still working like a Trojan, as well as buying farms and refurbishing homes!? How're Ga and the boys? Often get updates via Ma P but would be lovely to see you all again when we come home!!
You had a great fun there in Paphos . Paphos is the best place to spend holidays. Really informative and enjoyable post.